Process modeling has been successfully used in the plastics injection molding industry over the past decade. However, mathematical descriptions in certain areas of plastics processing are either not very well understood or are too complicated to be formulated. An alternative method, such as the semi-empirical approach which integrates models with data bases, has been found to be very effective in helping the tooling engineer with the following problems: understanding the interactions between product design, process conditions, and materials; identifying the process windows; and shortening the tooling design cycle time. Two semi-empirical process models, for the polyurethane foaming and profile extrusion processes, are discussed here to illustrate this useful methodology.

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